Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Day 28: From Psychiatrist to Veteran Psychologist

How about that future? While I went to go visit some good friends for the last time before they move out of town, I came across thinking about my future again. Which is not so bad to be thinking about your future, nice to keep those creative juices flowing. Here is how my process of determining my future started. When I was in high school I had gone to Puerto Rico to visit my family and anytime I get to see them is a pleasure. Yet when you do not see family for a long time, they get curious and one of the questions that is never failed to be asked is, "Que vas hacer despues de la escuela?" (What are you going to do after you finish school). At least at that time I had an idea usually I would just shy away and avoid the question as a whole. Well my uncle who is a General Family Doctor asked me that one day I was sitting outside enjoying the sun and breeze. In which I had replied that I wanted to be a psychologist. I was starting to get into psychology because I already knew I wanted to help people in some way and I could picture myself doing that for a good portion of my life. I felt so confident in my answer until my uncle throws in the idea that I should become a psychiatrist instead. This was way before I knew about medicine taking care of the mentally sick so as naive I could be for a fifteen year old I said okay.

Well towards the end of my high school career, I had lost a great friend because of medicine that was used to take care of her emotions. And you know it was not so much how I was treated because of how the medicine changed her behavior but the fact that I was there from the start and saw how the medicine changed her completely from someone I could read from the back of my hand to someone I couldn't find the words to tell her. I am not going to go into much detail but that is when I realized that I cannot go into medicine. I cannot live with myself knowing that if I gave someone medicine to control their mood and they went through the same difficult transition of having their neurotransmitters and or hormones altered, I would probably not be able to forgive myself. Which brings me in to as I went to apply for college. I decided to stay as a psychology major and find another way I can help people without having to handle medicine. I am a strong believer of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), which is therapy to help shape or mold unhealthy behaviors into better behaviors by implementing problem solving techniques and ways of coping with the situation that the person is going through. I rather sit down with my patient and speak to them but I will not be prescribing medicine, I will refer them to a psychiatrist if needed but that is the most that I will do for them in that case.

Throughout my first year of college I had two fields of psychology in mind to specialize in, Clinical or Counseling. Which these fields are more or less in the same ball park because in Clinical it is more research based on mental illness or like the alterations of function of the mind while Counseling you have more of the hands on experience of diagnosing patients. At least that is what I think, these are not the formal terms but for the sake of this blogpost I'm going to keep it casual. So I have gotten myself involved in research to learn more about the different fields of psychology to see if there was something that I was missing out that I would probably like to consider as I get closer to graduate school. And if my lab mentor is reading this she is going to be happy, but I have found Human Factors psychology to be an interesting field. It was not until I got to college that I found out what Human Factors psychology was and I like to refer to this field as like the engineering of psychology. There is just so many fascinating researches happening at my university in this field and I am constantly hearing about The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and how big of role Human Factors play. Sometimes even I want to fangirl and I am probably the one that is least interested in comparison with my lab mates.

Then I had a conversation with my oldest brother who has already graduated from college about how my classes were going and I do not remember clearly what I had written on Facebook but we got to the topic of Veteran Psychologist. I imagined myself being a Veteran Psychologist and the idea of being one is not bad at all. Growing up as a military kid, I am familiar with veteran hospitals so to picture myself working at one, I do not think it would be a bad idea. I would also be giving back to the veterans and I may also get benefits for working with the government so that would be another thing that I would not have to worry about. I know that I am may be potentially placing myself in a difficult path because of possible stories from these veterans but I am still willing to give it a go. Who knows what I will learn from that experience if I decide to settle with this route in the future.

Overall my love for psychology has only grown in abundance and I am excited about learning more of what other fields of psychology has to offer before having to make my final decision for grad school! I also want to add that you can always change your future, you do not have to settle down with your childhood career or with someone else's idea of who you should be if you do not want to. Figuring out your future is a process that constantly needs work so please do not expect that it is going to come with a snap of a finger or with a rub of a lamp (trust me I tried and it sadly did not work). You take the time your need to plan out what you want to take with this life that we are given. I doubt anyone has their life completely planned out from start to finish so do not be afraid to try new things and to enjoy the ride as you figure out what you want to accomplish and become!

What career do you have in mind?

xx Chavelita

No comments:

Post a Comment